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Viewer helps woman after WRTV story on youth aging out of foster care system

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Posted at 4:34 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 18:55:00-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A new initiative to house more people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis is underway.

WRTV first told you in March about the nearly $1.5 million the housing agency was allocating to this effort.

After our story aired, sharing the struggles of foster youth aging out of services and the Indianapolis Housing Agency’s efforts to help, one viewer heard Carly Jackson’s story and wanted to do what they could to help, as well.

“They heard about my situation on Channel 6,” Carly Jackson said. “So this married couple, they reached out and they sent me their stimulus check.”

Jackson’s story moved a WRTV viewer so much, they sent her their COVID-19 stimulus check anonymously. Writing her a letter reading, “We know that you can use the government stimulus money farther than we do.”

“I was really in shock actually. It stunned me,” Jackson said. “I didn’t even expect that to happen.”

Jackson spent most of her life in the foster care system since she was six years old. When she aged out at 18, she says she had nowhere to go, finding herself in a very dark place.

“Before that, I really didn’t think that anybody would do something like this,” she said. “So it really moved me as well. Changed my mind about how this world and these people are in it.”

Thanks to the Indianapolis Housing Agency’s Foster Youth to Independence initiative, Jackson was connected to housing assistance and receives rental help through a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development program.

She’s hoping to attend college this fall, and the anonymous donation of $1,000 will help Jackson tremendously.

“I’m putting it towards school for a computer or books or anything that I need,” she said.

In March, the IHA executive director vowed to help house 25 more foster youth like Jackson and issue an additional 125 housing vouchers to people experiencing homelessness. So far, IHA has issued 35 vouchers to veterans, nine to foster youth, and 56 to those currently homeless or at extreme risk of homelessness. They total 100 vouchers issued since March and 25 currently pending.